One of our top performers called me to her cube and said, “I need your help. I was supposed to get a final decision today from a big account I’ve been waiting on. Although the prospect promised to call me, she didn’t. I’ve tried calling her and haven’t been able to reach her. It’s the end of the day, and I’m writing her an email. Can you read over it and tell me what you think?”
I read through the first three sentences and noticed it was just a bunch of fluffy language that didn’t really say anything… a bunch of blah, blah, blah. We’ve all been there right?
So I told her (in the nicest way possible), “Delete it.”
She looked back and said, “What?”
“Delete all of that stuff... Keep it simple, direct, and go for the win!”
Using the Right Language
Instead of a bunch of fancy, sugary, test-the-waters type of language, we transformed her email to read:
I was looking forward to speaking with you today but we were unable to connect. What time will you be available tomorrow morning?
Our team is on stand by, ready & excited to bring you on board!
The email was intended to do three things.
- Remind the prospect that they were supposed to speak today. It’s the end of the day… and we are still trying!
- We don’t want the same thing to happen tomorrow, so let’s schedule a definite time to talk.
- We are ready… are you?!!!
At first, Megan was worried that the email was too short and too direct, but she sent it anyway. Within 10 minutes, the prospect responded:
You are one of the best sales persons I have ever met! I love to read your e-mails and learn a few ways to sell myself. Okay, please just call me tomorrow at 10:30 on my cell phone, 972-XXX-XXXX. I look forward to moving forward.
How about that, we even got her cell phone number!
A Time and A Place
Now... some people will look at this email and think, "That's it?" Where's the value statement? Where are the "5 reasons our product/service is right for you?" ...and my response is that there is a time and a place for every tactic, and it depends on the sales person's ability to know the exact stage of the sale.
This prospect was in the "sign it" stage. Value had already been established. We had a verbal commitment and just needed to get the paperwork.
This isn't the time to get fancy. Be direct. Keep things simple.
What's the moral of the sotry? Dance when it’s time to dance. Close when it’s time to close! When it comes time to win the deal, keep it simple.
Share one of your success stories! How do you re-engage a prospect that goes quiet at decision time?